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Wright Shares Passion for International Experiences

Professor emerita Audrey E. Wright has always been passionate about the value of international experiences. Today, she shares this passion with students through the A.E. Wright International Scholarship, an award recently presented for the first time. "This scholarship means a great deal to me," Wright said.

Thea Goding, UCM student in Germany

The A.E. Wright International Scholarship has made it possible for its first recipient, Thea Goding, to student teach in Germany.

Thea Goding, a UCM senior who received the scholarship, is studying this semester in Germany. "The scholarship has allowed me to take advantage of the amazing teaching opportunity I have in Europe by giving me extra support to cover additional expenses."


Described by her UCM professors as a "bright star" in the classroom with "great professional promise," Goding attended high school in Seward, NE, and came to UCM to pursue a degree in elementary education.

In preparation for her teaching career, she is involved in student teaching in a first grade classroom at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Heidelberg, Germany. The school is operated by the U.S. Department of Defense-Europe.

"I just love teaching overseas and working with the Department of Defense. Traveling on the weekends is a huge plus," she said.

Audrey Wright
New scholarship honors retiring professor Audrey E. Wright.

The A.E. Wright International Scholarship is for an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing an early childhood or education degree. Recipients must be participants in a UCM affiliated international experience.

Wright made the scholarship possible by way of a gift through the University of Central Missouri Foundation. She currently resides in Rochedale, MA, after having served from 1988-2004 as a faculty member in UCM's Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Throughout her career, Wright worked with kindergarten and elementary students, and also took advantage of opportunities to travel, teach and study overseas. In establishing the scholarship, Wright noted that teachers especially need to have a global perspective if they are to prepare children effectively for the challenges of the 21st century.

She believes that international experiences make educators better prepared to deal with the diverse complexities of the classroom. By leaving their comfort zones, teachers can become more open to questioning and understanding society and the life experiences that children bring into the education environment.

For future teachers like Goding, international experience has also expanded her options after graduation. As she put it, "I plan on getting a steady teaching job. I have no limitations as to where."

By Jeff Murphy '76 hs, '80, '95